by: Justin Felisko
PUEBLO, Colo. – Mason Taylor knew who he wanted to talk to for a rider’s perspective once he learned he had broken his right clavicle two weeks ago during the Lucas Oil Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky.
2016 World Champion Cooper Davis.
Davis has been a mentor to Taylor, 21, since Taylor reached the premier series full time in 2018. Davis sustained a similar injury during his 2016 gold buckle season.
In fact, Davis returned to competition only 17 days after he broke his right collarbone on September 14, 2016, while amidst an intense battle with Kaique Pacheco for the world title. He would regain the world No. 1 ranking 32 days after Dr. Tandy Freeman used a steel plate and three screws to fix his clavicle and go on to win the PBR’s $1 million championship bonus.
“Coop said the smartest thing I could do is get the surgery because if I didn’t get the surgery, I would be out for 12 weeks,” Taylor said. “And I’d rather sit out six weeks than 12. Then I can have a hell of a summer run and still be in it.”
Dr. Freeman performed the surgery on Tuesday. Taylor is hopeful he can return to competition no later than the PBR Bad Boy Mowers Invitational, presented by Union Home Mortgage, on May 22-23 in Jacksonville, Florida.
“I got a plate and two or three screws in there,” Taylor said. “Now it is a waiting game. I will see Tandy in two weeks and either get the green light (to come back then) or sit out for another four weeks. Tandy said, if it goes well and everything starts to heal up, I might be able to come back for Jacksonville, the last event before the break.”
Taylor had broken his right clavicle before, when he was 18, but decided against surgery.
Unlike Davis, who was injured late in the 2016 season, Taylor can be more cautious and not rush back from his surgery because of the timing of his injury.
Taylor broke his collarbone on his riding arm when Kickstart My Heart bucked him off in 1.16 seconds in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the latest setback for Taylor, who has struggled on the Unleash The Beast through the first eight events in 2021.
The Maypearl, Texas, native is only 3-for-17 (17.65%) on the premier series, but his two Touring Pro Division victories have helped the No. 21-ranked bull rider in the world stay inside the Top 30.
“Sometimes we take it for granted being able to go every weekend and live our dream and do what we want,” Taylor said. “It is easy to get pissed off when you don’t draw what you want to. I just wasn’t really drawing the best. I would draw some good bulls here and there, and I wouldn’t capitalize on them. Then it would piss me off. I was just fighting my head. Now it is good that I get a little break and come back rearing and ready to rock and roll.
“If anything, it is going to chap my ass enough that I am going to be pissed off by the time I get back that I won’t want to fall off nothing.
“You have to look at the positive. If you sit here and mope around it, you won’t be worth anything when you come back.”
TEEL RETURNING IN SIOUX FALLS
2012 PRCA champion Cody Teel is returning to action this weekend at the PBR First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard Invitational in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Teel has missed the past two events because of a left groin strain he sustained on March 13 in Glendale, Arizona.
Teel is ranked 24th in the world standings and is 3-for-15 (25%) in six events in 2021. He has drawn Soy El Fuego (10-3, UTB) for Round 1 on Friday night at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. Round 1 airs exclusively on RidePass beginning at 8:45 p.m. ET.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
Photo courtesy of Leo Loera/Bull Stock Media
© 2021 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.